04/17/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives
2.   Little Black Winter Stoneflies
3.   Quill Gordon Mayflies
4.   Blue Quill Mayflies
5.   Little Brown Stoneflies
6.   Little Black Caddis (American Grannoms)
7.   Hendricksons and Red Quills
8.   Little Short Horned Sedges
9.   American March Brown
10. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
11  Midges
Current Conditions:
By the way, I fished an hour yesterday, caught several rainbows and two brown
trout. I also talked to some anglers, none of which had caught that many all day
long. They all complained the "catching' had fell off. When I asked how and what
they were fishing, it became clear why they were not catching many. First of all, they
were fishing dry flies mostly all day long. That is a mistake. They were also fishing
Quill Gordon patterns and that hatch is over except in the higher elevations where
there are not that many Quill Gordons. The other thing is they fished a dropper fly
with a small nymph. That is about half as productive as knowing how to properly fish
a nymph. It works under some conditions but now isn't the time for a dropper rig
unless you want less than satisfactory results. I sell flies. I wouldn't say that if two
wouldn't work better than one if it was not true. It is a very overused and abused
fishing method.

The hatches have slacked off considerably. Unless you find some Hendricksons or
some Little Black Short-horned Caddis hatching (and know how to fish the hatch), to
get the most activity, you should be fishing a nymph, on the bottom. Notice I said "a"
nymph. That could also be a caddis larvae but get off the surface. You will catch
some trout on the surface, but like the guys I talked to yesterday, don't expect a
great deal from it. The best bet for dries is to find a Hendrickson hatch. That will
take finding the right type of water and that isn't the fast water areas. You should be
able to catch lots of trout in a days fishing provided you fish correctly. How many is
that? Well, if you fish eight hours and don't catch thirty, you are doing something
wrong. There could be reasons you can't control that want happen, but it should
unless things change.

American March Browns - Duns
The American March Brown dun is a beautiful, large mayfly ranging in hook size
from a 10 to a 12. They stay on the surface of the water for only a short time. At the
present time they will ride the surface for as long as they ever will. As the water
warms, these mayflies will depart the surface even quicker, giving the trout an even
shorter time to eat them. I have already said, most of the time your odds are better
using imitations of the emerger, but the trout will also eat the dun.

The big problem is knowing when to fish it. I went over the long hatch times during
the day and overall hatch length and don't need to repeat that for the dun. If you
see a couple of these on the water or along the bank, then give the dun imitation a
try.  Normally, the odds are greater in the afternoon and the later it gets into the
long hatch period, the later in the day they will hatch. Again, this is very general
information because you may see one hatch in the morning.

The big advantage of fishing the dun imitation is the fact its a dry fly. That's what
most of us prefer and what provides the most excitement. If you fish this fly over an
hour in any of the fast water steams in the Smokies during the long hatch period
without any success, i would recommend you change flies. Now that I have said that,
it is also possible that you may catch a few trout during the next hour on the same
fly. It is very difficult to determine anything specific about this hatch but you can't
just go on and on without success, so I would change and try later if I spotted more
newly hatched duns. It also would depend greatly on what else may or may not be
hatching. I would let that be the big factor. If you start seeing Light Cahills on the
water later on in the year, or any heavy concentration of other insects, by all means
change. None of this may be required. You may catch plenty of trout all day long on
the March Brown dun. Trial and error is the only way to fish this hatch. Trail and
error is also about the only method to use anytime there are multiple hatches.

I would start now with the hook size 10 fly and about a month from now, change to
the smaller size 12 fly. That is because the March Browns get smaller as time goes
by. They also get slightly darker in shades of color. These two changes are the
reason many thought for years we had a separate mayfly called the Gray Fox. Even
the scientist were confused. They had a specific name for it also (
fuscum) if I my
memory hasn't failed me on that. It was dropped for the list of scientific names.
Thumbnail: Click to Enlarge
"Perfect Fly" American March
Brown dun